Moss Weighs in on DOT Approval of American and Qantas Joint Venture

In Travel Weekly’s July 28 article DOT approval of AA-Qantas joint venture signals ‘open season’, AAI President Diana Moss calls the Department of Transportation’s case weak for approving the American-Qantas joint venture. From the article:

In addition to rejecting the American-Qantas joint venture, the DOT only approved a Delta-Aeromexico antitrust-immunity application in March 2016 for a term of five years while requiring that the two carriers surrender 24 landing and departure slots at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez Airport to low-cost competitors.

Both [Samuel] Engel and Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a nonprofit that says its mission is to promote competition, said they expect more airline-friendly decisions to come.

“I think this just signals that the Trump administration is predisposed to support industry, and in this case, these are very large U.S. companies that already have the ear of the president and are going to get the benefit of the doubt,” Engel said.

Moss said the DOT made a weak case for approving the American-Qantas joint venture.

“I’m not seeing any change in market conditions in terms of growth or concentration that would justify a grant of immunity in this case,” she said.